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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #11  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

I would probably prefer a smaller fuel tank for most of my uses. The 12 gallon tank on my Pearson carries a years worth of fuel for me (unless I do a multi-week cruise in the summer), yet I need to keep it topped off to avoid drawing in water through condensation.

On my Catalina 25 I would swap out to a 3 gallon tank for most seasons, even with multiple sailing trips per week that would last me 2-4 months. Then I'd bring along a second 6 gallon tank when cruising. With an inboard I don't really have that choice unless I want to start ordering custom tanks.
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

"Polishing" fuel at your level is accomplished by running the engine for an hour or so.
All diesels have either electrical or mechanical low pressure pumps that supply fuel to the high pressure rack.
They all pump more fuel to the rack than is actually used, there is a fuel return coming off the rack and going back to your tank (or the valves that switch for multiple tanks).

The pump on my W30 put out 25 gallons per hour - so essentially I was polishing 24 gallons per hour every hour of run time down to the 2 micron level (primary 20, secondary 12, on engine 2) as well as removing water.
Of course, that's not as good as a real polish, gunk accumulates on the bottom that the pick up tubes never get.
For that you take off the access and stick your hand in there and scrub, if you have a tank access plate. If not you make one
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Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Replaced the fuel filters (and did engine and transmission oil changes) yesterday. The primary fuel filter, a Racor 200FG, was pretty dirty. The secondary that is engine mounted was very clean. The engine is running well now. I did not de-screen the fuel pickup, but may do that today.

The engine-mounted hand pump wasn't working that well. Is it common for these to fail? I ended up using the oil change pump to bleed some points on the engine, a practice that I'm used to from owning many diesel cars.

I also practiced docking under sail yesterday, just in case this comes up again.
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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

The label on the fuel tank in my 28-2 says it holds 14.5 gallons. Yours might be different but it's always good to know.

Minnewaska's advice to make sure your Racor filter is a more forgiving 20-30 microns is right on, I think. I believe the "tighter" filter puts more strain on your lift pump too.

The finger pump on the fuel pump works for me, but it takes well over 100 squishes to fill the filter and bleed. And thats after I crank the engine for a few seconds to get things going--holding the kill lever and water intake closed of course. If the finger pump doesn't have a distinctive "squish" feel to it, carefully turn the crank a few degrees and try again. Apparently the cam position matters.
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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Thanks Tom, I'll try the finger pump again when I get a chance. I put in a 2 micron filter, but when this (and my backup) fail I'll get the 10. My Yanmar filter had no visible blockage, so I think the Racor is doing all of the work right now.

12 gallons was by memory, 14.5 is even worse from my point of view. 6 gallons would be ideal, but isn't worth doing the work to change to.
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Old 04-23-2013
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Alex, can you put in a smaller second tank and a Y valve? Drain and clean the big tank, and leave it, use the smaller second tank as your primary.
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

I'd need 2 y valves, one for the fuel return, plus another fuel fill line and vent. I think that is a lot of work for minor gain. I'd probably have to remove the existing tank to make room for a second one, there isn't a good spot available.
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Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Alex, I think the 2 micron is definitely too fine. That's probably as fine as or finer than your secondary. I believe I'm using the 30 now. I used a 2 micron for one season because that was all that was on the shelf and I wanted to get it done, but I always wondered if that might have been what pushed my fuel pump over the edge that year.
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